Bhubaneshwar, July 2 : The search operation to trace out 35 missing commandos, who were feared drowned after the Maoists capsized their boat, is being stepped up with mobilisation of additional forces to Orissa's Malkangiri District today.
Around one thousand armed police from Orissa and Andhra Pradesh and CRPF are engaged in the search operations in Chitrakonda forest adjoining Andhra Pradesh.
One more naval divers team has arrived from Vishakhapatanam. Apart from two helicopters, a sonar machine is being used in the search operation.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik urged the Union Home Ministry to send six additional companies of CRPF to strengthen security and combing operation.
The Maoists are highly active across India, including the states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. They are also active in some areas of Orissa, Maharashtra and Karnataka. Since 2005, more people have been killed in Naxal-related violence than in Kashmir or the Northeast.
Naxalism has spread to more than 150 of India's 600 districts. Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand are the worst-affected states.
Since January 2006, Chhattisgarh has recorded over 500 deaths in Naxal-related violence.
They claim to be fighting for the rights of poor peasants and landless labourers and routinely call strikes, attack Government property and target local politicians.